Food Recycling Project

RecycleSmart offers a collection program to keep food waste out of landfill and turn it into renewable energy.

It’s open to all restaurants, grocery stores, schools and other large commercial or institutional food waste generators in the RecycleSmart service area. And there’s no charge for participating.  Click here for current participants. 

To participate you must ensure that you only put food waste into your green bin; yard waste cannot be processed in this project.

Unlike traditional composting, The Food Recycling Project results in electricity. Collected food discards are taken to EBMUD’s wastewater treatment facility in Oakland. The food is added to large “digesters” that are primarily used to process sewage waste. All the waste is “anaerobically” digested, which produces large amounts of methane gas. Big co-generation engines capture the methane and use it to generate electricity that powers the entire water treatment facility. Plus, excess energy is sold to Port of Oakland - renewable energy used locally! In addition to renewable energy, compost-like material is also produced, which is used as a soil amendment for non-food agricultural applications.

It’s a win-win-win proposition. The environment improves with less landfill, the renewable electricity reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, and businesses can save money by diverting more waste to these containers and reducing the size of the landfill bins. 

Tools for Participating

We provide a variety of promotional items to let your customers know about your efforts in recycling food waste:

Please refer to the attached program poster for further information on how to participate.

RecycleSmart thanks the business participants of the Food Recycling Project! Please support them as they help protect our environment.

For additional information or assistance 

Kimberly Lam, Recycling Coordinator
Republic Services 925-671-5851